CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 26 (Ticker) -- An apparent meltdown by Dwyane Wade put the seal on a letdown by the Miami Heat.

Wade's missed 3-pointer at the buzzer allowed the expansion Charlotte Bobcats to escape with a 94-92 triumph over the Eastern Conference-leading Heat, who were coming off an impressive win.

NBA TV highlights from
"It's Miami," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "I think it was gratifying for the simple reason that normally they make that last shot and we hurt all night. From that standpoint, it's a relief that the ball didn't go in the basket."

With Miami trailing, 94-91, Wade was fouled by Jason Hart with four seconds remaining. After making the first free throw, the All-Star guard intentionally missed the second and gathered the rebound.

Instead of putting up a short jumper that could have tied the game, Wade inexplicably scurried to the 3-point line and unleashed a shot at the buzzer that was off the mark.

"I saw the opportunity," Wade said. "Stuff just happened so fast, I can't even tell you what I was thinking. When I got it, I looked up and was thinking three. But at the same time, it doesn't matter. We had an opportunity to win the game. I hit it and I'm the hero, but I missed it and I'm not."

"He simply didn't know the score, and it's a mistake on his part," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "He knew we were missing and we did a good job on the play. He was the only guy who didn't know the score. It's just a mistake, and one that's costly."

The loss was the first in 14 Southeast Division games for the Heat (53-18), who were trying to become the first team in league history to end a season unbeaten against its own division.

Superstar center Shaquille O'Neal attempted to remove the blame from Wade by putting it on his own shoulders.

"It was my fault tonight," said O'Neal, who had 26 points and 16 rebounds. "I've got to get the guys more ready. We took them a little too lightly and got ourselves into a hole that we could have climbed out of, but we just made too many mistakes. I take the blame for tonight because I've got to get the guys fired up and ready."

"That's just Shaq being a leader and trying to take responsibility," Wade said. "It's a team loss, just like all of our wins have been team wins. We'll take it and we'll move on."

One night after a spirited home win over Phoenix, the Heat fell percentage points behind the Suns in the race for the NBA's best record. Van Gundy deflected the idea that this loss was a letdown.

"That's nothing but an excuse for people," he said. "We simply got outplayed, period. We didn't deserve to win that game. Charlotte deserved to win it.

"We decided to play one quarter, and it wasn't enough. We didn't deserve to win. They played a lot better and a lot harder and with a lot more focus than we did."

Miami trailed, 50-39, at the half but made a strong comeback in the third quarter and tied it, 63-63, with 4:36 left.

"When we tied the game, we assumed we were back, we're the Heat, and it will take care of itself," Van Gundy said. "The only thing I can hope is that our guys learned something from it. It was not a good performance, but I don't want to take anything away from Charlotte. They were great. They played harder, they played better and they deserved to win the game."

Primoz Brezec scored 12 of his career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, when the Bobcats snapped a 70-70 tie on a pair of free throws by Matt Carroll with 11:52 to go and never trailed thereafter.

"I was just trying to win the game," Brezec said. "It was a team effort. My teammates would find me in a good position and I was knocking down those jumpers."

"Without the big fella, we don't win," Charlotte guard BrevinKnight said. "He stepped up and made some big shots the entire game, especially that fourth quarter. When we needed somebody to make a bucket, it was him."

Brezec also grabbed 11 boards, Gerald Wallace scored 17 points and Knight handed out 16 assists for Charlotte, which has won three of its last four games.

"These guys know I'm going to give them the ball and they're ready to shoot," said Knight, who recorded his third straight game of at least 15 assists and ninth this season. "I told the team that at the end of the year, I'll take care of everybody. You take care of me now."

Wade scored 19 points and Eddie Jones 16 for the Heat, who have lost two of three after a 12-game winning streak.

"We had opportunities to win the game, but we just didn't get it done," Wade said. "Charlotte came out and played harder than us. That team never gives up. That is basically their motto."

The win gave Charlotte just its second winning streak of the season. The Bobcats also won two in a row from December 14-18 - both overtime triumphs.

"Our guys have nowhere to go, but they're just competing," Bickerstaff said. "They give with everything they've got and they leave it out on the court. What we said, as a group, is we want to be spoilers."

Rookie Emeka Okafor, who scored 12 points, suffered a sprained left ankle with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter and did not return.